Leftovers is our look at some of the product ideas that pop up everywhere – some are intriguing, some sound great and some are the kind of ideas we would never dream of. We can’t write about everything we get, so here are the leftovers from our inbox.
Everyone seems to be in the keto diet nowadays, including Halo Top.
The ice-free ice cream brand that first disrupted the frozen dessert case a few years ago is the newest food that finds its way into keto-eating – the protein-rich and fatty and low-carbohydrate diet designed for rapid weight loss.
Halo Top has seven flavors in the new Keto series: Peanut Butter Chocolate, Jelly Donut, Caramel Butter Pecan, Berry Swirl, Chocolate Cheesecake, Banana Cream Pie and White Chocolaty Macadamia Nut. Each pint has 5 to 10 net carbohydrates and 410 to 630 calories per pint.
And because the number of carbohydrates is most important in the keto diet, the number that is pressed on the ice of each pint is carbohydrates per pint – not calories, like regular Halo Top.
“Our brand is focused on making a delicious dessert that everyone can feel good about food, and these new flavors enable us to do that for our fans who want to limit their sugar intake,” said Meg Graeff, senior brand manager for Halo Great, in the press release.
When consumers’ calendars changed in 2020, interest in the keto diet increased. According to Google Trends, searches for the term more than doubled between the last week of 2019 and the beginning of January. Given the perpetual resolution to fall in the new year, the renewed interest in the eating plan makes sense.
If a brand would bring the ice cream category to a weight loss diet, it would be Halo Top. After all, it built its brand around creating good-tasting, low-calorie, high-protein, and low-sugar ice cream that is often perceived as healthier than traditional varieties of the treat. That combination led to Halo Top’s sales rising 2,500% between 2016 and 2017, when it became the # 1 pint of ice cream sold in the United States. It also inspired copycat pints of ice cream from other brands, including Breyers, Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever’s launch of Culture Republick.
Halo Top is not the only sweet treat that is being redesigned to fit into the keto diet. Duncan Hines, the baking brand of Conagra, has recently introduced keto-friendly cake mixes. Given that the keto diet is characterized by eating foods rich in nutrients and low in carbohydrates – such as green vegetables, meat, nuts and cheese – it is clear that CPG manufacturers feel that people in the regime still want to enjoy.
This is the first major launch of Halo Top since it was purchased last year by Blue Bunny maker Wells Enterprises. Wells, the largest private ice maker in the United States, opted for a splashy first-line expansion for Halo Top. But if the brand’s history is an indication of its performance, expect that next year many keto-friendly ice drinks will displace the freezer section.
– Megan Poinski
Beer is ticking the oat milk craze
With yogurt and milk that dominate oats, it is only fitting that beer should follow the trend.
DuClaw Brewing rolls out Oatshake Double IPA and The PastryArchy Oat Milk imperial stout. Both are made with oat milk instead of the lactose traditionally used in creamy beers. The Baltimore-based brewer said he plans to distribute the drinks to the 19 states where his product is distributed. A 4-pack of 16 ounce cans is expected to sell between $ 11.99 and $ 13.99.
“It is new to put oat milk in beer, but it is really just extracting the liquid from soaking oats in water,” said Chris Wood, director of the DuClaw brewery, in a statement. “Those are two ingredients that we often use.”
A company spokeswoman said in an email that the beer was “a journey” because DuClaw could not buy oat milk in large quantities. In addition to making the brew, they had to figure out how to make enough oat milk in the brewery itself, including scraping concrete oats from brewing tanks.
The popularity of oats has grown as consumers appear to be eating healthier and are attracted to the halo of the ingredient. In the past year, Chobani introduced yogurt based on oats and oat milk for coffee shops. And Neslé from Nestlé recently introduced a new beverage brand called GoodNes, which is debuting this month with the release of Chocolate Oat Milk. And Endangered Species Chocolate has a new chocolate bar line that uses oat milk instead of dairy products.
For beer companies such as DuClaw, experimenting with oat milk allows them to try something new that stands out from the other more than 7,300 craft beer companies across the country. At the same time, the brewer can use an ingredient that is becoming increasingly popular with American consumers.
With so many brewers nearby, it is no longer enough to be a craft beer maker. Although the use of a trendy ingredient such as oat milk is not a surefire way to ensure success, it brings consumers to the talk – and that is a marketing gain for any business.
– Christopher Doering
Pass the cream on, hold the cow
At this pace, there appears to be a dairy-free alternative for everything.
The Silk brand, owned by Danone, launches the first plant-based alternative to heavy cream-based dairy products. The heavy cream – a mix of coconut and sunflower oil, faba bean protein and sunflower lecithin – is now available in supermarkets according to a release.
The plant-based product is keto-friendly, gluten-free and non-GMO Project verified. According to the release, Silk Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative can be used in various recipes for desserts, sauces, soups and more.
David Robinson, senior brand manager for Silk, said in a statement that the company is introducing this product because they saw an opportunity in the market and wanted to “provide an easy exchange for those who have more dairy-free options in their eating habits.”
More people want to eat and drink fewer animal-based products. US vegetable food sales grew 11% last year, bringing the total vegetable market value to $ 4.5 billion, according to figures released by The Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association, and that growth is expected to continue .
Dairy products have seen more innovation in the vegetable category in recent years, because traditional products from cows are struggling. In an Innova Market Insights report on top trends for 2020, the group predicted that the vegetable dairy sector will diversify as consumer interest increases.
To meet that diversity, Silk has already introduced a dairy-free half and half coffee creamer made with oats and coconut milk, so consumers might be ready for another alternative cream.
But other companies are also launching plant-based cream products. In 2018, Redagra-Wip from Conagra Brands released a vegan whipped cream based on coconut and almond. And last year Trader Joe re-launched his vegan Coconut Whipped Topping under the brand name Sweet Rose.
Although those other products have already been made to decorate a coffee, cake or sundae – unlike this launch of an ingredient that is waiting to be turned into dessert, it is used to make a complex sauce or make cookies – it is likely that Silk will soon have direct competition. That will continue as more alternatives to dairy products take up a larger share of the market.
– Lillianna Byington